THE number of young people in the town who have been out of work for more than 12 months has nearly doubled in the last year.
The latest worrying figures were released as one teenage jobseeker admits it is easy to get “disillusioned” in her difficult search for work.
Rebecca Swallow, 18, applies for at least eight jobs every week and has qualifications in childcare and health and social care.
But despite those qualifications and work experience, she has had no luck in finding a job, but vows to “keep on going” in her search for work.
As of last month, 390 18 to 24-year-olds in Hartlepool had been claiming jobseekers allowance for at least 12 months.
That figure is nearly double the 200 young people who had been claiming the benefit for more than a year this time last year.
It was also revealed that 1,430 18 to 24-year-olds were claiming jobseekers allowance in February, five higher than the previous month.
Rebecca, who lives in the town centre area of Hartlepool, knows how the hundreds of young people searching for work are feeling.
She said: “It is hard when I am applying for eight jobs every single week, but getting nothing back.
“It’s easy to get disillusioned with it.”
Rebecca opted for Hartlepool College of Further Education when she finished at High Tunstall College of Science and has level one qualifications in childcare and health and social care. She has also been on work experience placements in primary schools in the town and worked with pensioners who are suffering with dementia.
She is the latest young person to feature in the Mail’s Work in Progress campaign, highlighting the plight of young jobseekers in the town.
“I would love to work with children in nurseries or schools, that would be my dream job,” said Rebecca, who lives with her mum, Marie Benney, 46, who is also out of work.
“But I am applying for absolutely anything at all, I just want to find work.”
Working in partnership with Triage, an organisation which supports young jobseekers and works closely with employers, Rebecca is also applying for apprenticeships as she looks to do all possible to make herself more employable.
“I’m just trying to do anything and everything,” she added.
“Just to get me started and to get on the job ladder.”
Lucy Fox, performance manager at Triage, hailed Rebecca’s attitude despite her difficult search for work.
She said: “Rebecca is committed and keen to apply for a lot of positions.
“Her attitude is fantastic, she is just ready for someone to give her a chance now.”
Employers can contact Triage by calling (01429) 363101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org